Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Hate the Religion, Love the Catholic Schoolgirls

Richard Dawkins, cool-headed intellectual of our time. The laughs start immediately:
Only a person infected by the sort of sanctimonious self-righteousness that religion uniquely inspires would apply the meaningless word 'sin' to private sexual behavior.
Got that? Religion uniquely inspires that sort of sanctimonious self-righteousness, leaving us to wonder what sort of sanctimonious self-righteousness Mr. Dawkins is launching at us, and what inspires it.
Officially, Bill Clinton was impeached not for sexual misconduct but for lying about it.
"Officially" meaning, of course, "it is the case that."
But he was entitled to lie about his private life: one could even make a case that he had a positive duty to do so.
Perjury is a crime, Dick. You wouldn't be counseling people to lie under oath, would you now? Well, the simplest interpretation is the best, so I suppose that, yes, you really are telling people to lie under oath. In fact, you're commanding them to, by imposing a duty upon them (which is all right, because imposing your sanctimonious self-righteous moral attitude on someone is OK as long as you're not a religious guy).
Lying to Congress by saying, "I did not have sex with that woman" should not be an impeachable offense, because where a man puts his penis is none of Congress's damn business.
It follows precisely from this that rape is not Congress's business. Perhaps Mr. Dawkins is just enlightening us on the limits of Congress's power and affirming that, indeed, the Commerce Clause does not give Congress the power to criminalize sexual misconduct. That was a close one, because I almost thought there that he was saying it's not the government's business where a man puts his penis, which would be unhinged lunacy.
And please don't say the right answer to an impertinent question about your private life is "No comment", because we all know how that would be interpreted. Telling a lie is often the only way to convey an effective "No comment."
You might be misinterpreted if you refuse to answer a question you have no intention of answering, so just lie, but, presumably, lie in a believable fashion, so no one will make any false inferences about you. Yes, this is what passes for morality in the world of Richard Dawkins.
A censorious culture in which public figures are forced to answer impertinent questions about their past, or their private affairs, would lead to open season on everybody.
I expect the grand jury to be assembled for me any day now.
What is more, the revolting hue and cry that our religiously inspired society habitually raises over private sexual 'morality' serves as a dangerous distraction away from important matters of public morality such as the Blair/Bush lies about Iraq's weapons.
There's a good boy, it's all about Iraq. And global warming. I hope you get to global warming. It really is all about Bush, and Iraq, and global warming, and the Illuminati &c. (Where did Clinton drop bombs when the questions about Lewinsky started? Hmm...)
Shouldn't public figures be entitled to lie about their religious affiliations (just like the many atheists that the laws of probability tell us must be there in Congress)? Not always. The reason is that religious views, even if they seem private in themselves, can become public in their implications.
Whereas, as one can discover by pure reason, it is logically impossible for one's sex life ever to have any effect on anyone other than oneself.
But George Bush has publicly boasted that God told him to invade Iraq, and his religious faith obviously inspired his irrational stances on stem cell research, the Terri Schiavo case and many others.
In this country, and this is one of the reasons we rebelled against yours, Dick, we think freedom of religion is a good thing, so George Bush is allowed to have thoughts that are heterodox compared to your atheist dogmatism. Further, what's irrational about Bush's position on stem cell research? Or the Terri Schiavo affair, for that matter? Are you in favor of killing innocent people, Dick? Or what? I wish you'd offer an argument, really. It'd be nice, for once.
But going beyond direct influences on policies, would you wish to be governed by a man who has such a cock-eyed view of reality that he thinks the Garden of Eden was in Missouri, even if he keeps that cock-eyed view private?
Whereas the real Garden of Eden is in ____? (Fill in the blank, Dick)
Returning to the original topic of sex outside marriage
Whew, back to the topic at hand, after a non sequitur assault on religion.
Why are we so obsessed with monogamous fidelity in the first place?
This sounds like a really bad way to begin a conversation with one's wife.
The underlying presumption -- that a human being has some kind of property rights over another human being's body -- is unspoken because it is assumed to be obvious.
Property rights. Huh. Here, I thought it was about mutual respect for autonomy, but no, I don't want you to cheat because I own you, and I'll refrain from cheating because I'm chattel. Yep, that must be it.
From a Darwinian perspective, sexual jealousy is easily understood.
Yep. Wonder if there's another, equally useful explanation. Nah.
Why should you deny your loved one the pleasure of sexual encounters with others, if he or she is that way inclined?
Use your body as mere means!
imagine a sort of intelligent Ann Coulter
I don't have to imagine; Ms. Coulter graduated with honors from a top-ten law school. You were saying?
Even sticking to the higher plane of love, is it so very obvious that you can't love more than one person?
No more obvious than the opposite. What a conundrum! I guess, all things being equal, we should start being sluts.
We seem to manage it with parental love (parents are reproached if they don't at least pretend to love all their children equally), love of books, of food, of wine (love of Chateau Margaux does not preclude love of a fine Hock, and we don't feel unfaithful to the red when we dally with the white), love of composers, poets, holiday beaches, friends . . . why is erotic love the one exception that everybody instantly acknowledges without even thinking about it?
Richard Dawkins has had sex with his parents, books, food, wine, composers, poets, holiday beaches, and friends. You heard it here first, folks.
Why can a woman not love two men at the same time, in their different ways?
Have you figured out the internet yet? Google "gangbang," man.
It is ubiquitous if not universal. you have a dictionary handy? That internet thing has one, if you need it.
I'm just wondering aloud why we all accept it so readily, without even thinking about it.
For most people, this would lead to skepticism and perhaps an attempt to understand sexual jealousy, taking all possible causes into account and being prepared to change one's position if a better theory is apparent. To Richard Dawkins, however, wonder is the end of learning, not the beginning. "That's odd; oh well, I must be right and there is no way this oddness could possibly mean the truth is deeper than I understand."
And why don't we all admire – as I increasingly do -- those rare free spirits confident enough to rise above jealousy, stop fretting about who is "cheating on" whom, and tell the green-eyed monster to go jump in the lake?
Paris Hilton, object of my admiration. Will you be mine?

So, uh, he's a really smart guy, right?


At 6:33 PM, December 05, 2007 , Blogger Auskunft said...

"Richard Dawkins has had sex with his parents, books, food, wine, composers, poets, holiday beaches, and friends. You heard it here first, folks."

Most outstanding line ever!

At 12:11 AM, December 06, 2007 , Blogger Nick Milne said...

He just wants to be Bertrand Russell so badly


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